Planning on using SMS software? If so, A2P 10DLC compliance is vital for the success of any campaign. Learn more about the process with this guide from Sakari.
For many on platforms specializing in A2P, 10DLC compliance is the most complex and opaque part of any texting strategy. Opt-ins, verification, and more can make the process seem more confusing than it is, particularly for newcomers. Luckily, it’s not too difficult once you understand the basics. Here are the essentials of 10DLC compliance and what powers that be require for your campaign to receive results.
What is 10DLC?
For many years, cell phone users could expect to receive a torrent of spam texts in their inboxes, ranging from advertisements to outright scams. After much public outcry, the American government decided that enough was enough. It declared that cell phone carriers like Verizon and AT&T are liable for any unwarranted and unwanted messages on their network. To protect themselves from litigation, they introduced a plethora of requirements.
The carriers then created the 10DLC and The Campaign Registry (TCR) to enforce requirements on those using local phone numbers. 10DLC stands for “ten-digit long code,” which describes local numbers, the most commonly used phone number for sending SMS. The Campaign Registry, operated by the cell carriers, verifies and monitors companies that use A2P 10DLC to message customers to ensure they comply with their rules.
For companies and customers alike, the creation of 10DLC and TCR is a good thing. It formally recognized A2P (application-to-peer) platforms and their place in marketing while differentiating them from the junk text pushers. Moreover, less spam reaches everyones’ inboxes. The downside? 10DLC has the side effect of making things more complicated for those who wish to send text messages. Sending SMS messages to customers takes a little more effort, planning, and resources.
As an A2P company, we require verification to send any SMS, whether for a local number, toll-free, or shortcode. Otherwise, carriers will likely block messages, demand fines, or even pursue legal action.
How Does A2P 10DLC Compliance Work?
Registration with The Campaign Registry is straightforward through our A2P SMS platform. We offer an extensive form that goes directly to TCR. If it’s filled out correctly, it should be verified and sent down the SMS pipeline to its destined recipients.
The process begins with a phone number. If it’s a ten-digit number with a local area code in the United States, it must be verified by TCR. Local numbers go through the TCR’s 10DLC certification process within a few days. These steps are essential for maintaining a positive, healthy relationship with SMS.
Now, the sender is ready to start preparing their SMS plans. TCR wants to know who is getting the texts and why. This involves telling TCR via form about the “campaign” to ensure A2P 10DLC compliance. This includes attaching multiple pictures of what the texts will look like and what keywords they’ll be using. All activities involving sending SMS are considered a campaign, even if it’s used for internal communications, confirming appointments, or customer service.
The next – and trickiest – step is providing evidence of opt-ins. The SMS recipient must consent to get texts from the sender. Moreover, the sender must prove that the recipient agrees to receive text messages and can opt-out anytime. Evidence includes photos of where opt-ins are obtained and proof of opt-outs. Verification comes with a small fee, partly to reduce the cost-effectiveness of spam and fraud by SMS.
Opt-Ins and Opt-Outs
For brands, getting authentic opt-ins is one of the more challenging parts of SMS strategy. There are a few types of opt-ins, each with its pros and cons.
Simple SMS opt-in: This opt-in is straightforward and is a good first step to achieving A2P 10DLC compliance. The recipient simply agrees once before they start receiving texts. For example, the recipient ticks a checkbox at an online store and hears about sales and new products the following day.
Double SMS opt-in: This method builds upon its simpler counterpart. For example, after agreeing once to receive texts, the first SMS a customer gets says, “Reply AGREE to learn more about the latest deals on junk.” While this may initially seem like an extra step, it helps refine one’s SMS campaigns. This is because some people accidentally agree or use a fake number when signing up initially. Since every text costs money, the double opt-in ensures that only the most interested parties get a message, ensuring that no text is wasted on an uninterested person.
Soft SMS opt-in: In this technically legal method, this opt-in doesn’t explicitly require consent. Instead, the “opt-in” is derived from the recipient’s purchasing habits. For example, if they bought something from a store, surely they would want to get texts from said store? So long as there’s a clear opt-out keyword, it’s legal to do so. Note that this is far from best practice and can result in a loss of brand trust. While technically meeting A2P 10DLC compliance, there may be better ways to do so.
HIPPA opt-ins: These are only pertinent to businesses that use HIPPA, such as therapists and doctors. They make sure to convey that the text messages are still subject to HIPPA and are subsequently confidential.
When planning opt-in gathering for any SMS campaign, it is essential to pick a strategy that suits you. All of these methods are ideal for someone. Just make sure to keep evidence that opt-ins are obtained legally.
A2P 10DLC Compliance is Simple with Sakari
Overall, 10DLC compliance is straightforward, with proper knowledge and preparation. So long as the sender collects info and opt-ins, they can start a game-changing campaign with proven efficacy.
We at Sakari streamline 10DLC compliance by providing simple forms, educational content, and automated processes. With our fantastic A2P SMS platform, sending hundreds to thousands of top-notch texts is easy. Learn more about SMS on our blog and support site, maintained by our text messaging experts. Start a free trial with us today.